By Devin Watkins
Pope Francis spoke out against violence against women, which he called “a scourge that affects our American continent”.
The Holy Father’s words came during a Marian celebration held in Peru’s coastal city of Trujillo on Saturday.
“I ask you to fight against this source of suffering by calling for legislation and a culture that repudiates every form of violence.”
He said there are “numerous cases where women are killed” and that this type of violence is hidden “behind so many walls”.
Mary defends and leads to Jesus
Pope Francis told Peruvians to look to the Virgin Mary, “Our Lady of the Gate”.
He said the people of Peru should always remember that “Mary is a Mother who does not abandon her children”.
Mary, he said, “continues to defend us and point out the gate that opens for us the way to authentic life, to the Life that does not pass away.”
Many Marian titles show God's attentiveness
The Holy Father went on to speak about the many titles given to Jesus’ mother Mary.
He said every community in Peru has a particular devotion to the Virgin Mary, who takes on different names. “Those titles express the desire of our God to be close to each heart, so that the language of God’s love is always spoken in dialect”.
He said this shows the attentiveness of God, who “looks for the best way to draw near to each person, so that he or she can receive Him.”
“All these images remind us of the tender love with which God wants to be close to every village and every family, to you and me, to everyone.”